08/07/13 Mad Dogs…


I’m not designed for heat. Give me minus 10 any day of the week…

It was with this and similar cheery thoughts bouncing around my head that I made my way to Heversham where I’d been promised some manner of hospitality.

I bumped into a number of people on this leg of the ramble – but I’ll just give you a couple of highlights…

There was a bald chap walking his staffies – 2 ridiculously licky and friendly fellows.

We talked about all things mental healthy – he told me he has some friends who experience episodes of mental ill health – they would often go to ward 4 at Kendal hospital for a bit of respite from their malady.

Since it’s closure though…this man who has worked in a local prison believes that’s where more and more folk with a mental illness are ending up….

I met a woman who I’d met previously on the ferry over to Arran. What a coincidence!

Her story gave me the opportunity to be idiotically sexist…

She told me that since she’d last seen me she’d broken her ankle and got pregnant…

‘You must have been easier to catch…’ I quipped.


The main theme of the day though was the reception I received from Ian and Narina – the couple I met only yesterday.

I was welcomed in like an old friend – there’s so much I want to tell about my visit –

The wasp that landed next to me on their bench, munching up some of the wood to take back to build her nest..

The lovely tea..

The chat about delivering a message of mental ill health to younger folk…

Ian is a retired secondary school teacher…

Narina is a retired primary school teacher…

A most interesting debate.

The walk with Ian down to the Kent estuary…chatting easily about this and that…

No, I want to talk about their journeys around the Arab peninsula.

It’s ok, this was in the past…

Just after the 2 gulf wars.

So you’d imagine the reception they had from the locals would be frosty?

I mean, that Koran pedals destruction of the infidels…

Time and again they drove near mud huts and/ or tented communities. Being British, they would keep their distance…

But these poor – I mean in financial terms – locals would run up to the Land Rover offering dates and coffee…inviting our travellers back to their homes – getting out the best mats – doing their best to share stories – refusing any offers of reciprocal gifts..

But what about the invasion of Iraq? Ian tells me, again, time and again, that this hospitable group of folk would look for positive remarks about old Blighty so as to not upset their guests…

It was their experience of hospitality that was part of their motivation to invite me, a complete stranger, who has more than a passing resemblance to the bastard child of Phil Mitchell and a bouncer, into their home.

They could never repay the kindness of the individuals they met on their many journeys – instead, they choose to repay the world – in this case I was the happy beneficiary.

What goes around comes around.

Walk a mile


This entry was posted in economy, hospitality, inequality, kindness, mental health, walking and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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